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"Ten years ago I couldn't even imagine a trance DJ playing house or a techno DJ playing electro," Benassi tells Spinner. "But, luckily, the barriers are disappearing and everyone's more creative as a result."
And it's not just rave or club DJs who are opening up their minds to the melting pot of sounds, styles, textures and genres. Chris Brown and other stars of the urban music world have come together to herald a new era of collaboration, many calling on Benassi.
"I think hip-hop is always evolving and looking for new sounds. The same could be said for electronic music, so I guess it was inevitable that they would meet up, eventually," says Benassi.
Benassi's most recent album, 'Electroman,' attempts to further that theme of mixing genres which he initiated on 2008's 'Rock 'N' Rave.' The new project features collaborations with Kelis, the Ying Yang Twins, apl.de.ap, T-Pain. Even Lady Gaga tour supporter Gary Go drops in on the wistful, new-wave-inspired single 'Cinema.'
"I worked with my studio partner and producer, Alle Benassi, on this album. We wanted to continue an idea that was only just beginning to take shape with 'Rock 'N' Rave.' The idea was to see what the 'Benassi bass' would sound like with different vocal styles, and to make an album that was a mixture of songs and club tracks."
In order to reach new audiences, Benassi also enlisted Skrillex, runner-up for Mixmag's 2011 DJ of the Year, to remix 'Cinema' to ensure a certain degree of DJ replay.
"The real difference is that we had more means to contact different artists and had a clearer idea of how to do it," says Benassi. "'Electroman' is more mature in that way."
House purists might disagree on the use of radio pop stars or a trendy dubstep DJ like Skrillex to bolster Benassi's style since tracks like 'My House' and 'House Music' have little semblance of the traditional four-on-the-floor house aesthetic. But Benassi counters.
"I think that electro is a development of house music -- so at the same time it's a tribute to house music and an interpretation of it."